Once utilized for farmland, La Tourette Park is now a large area of land encompassed by a golf course and several hiking trails in the center of Staten Island. The park is surrounded by several suburban neighborhoods and more than a few attractions for those looking to get back to the pull of nature in the midst of an urban environment. The hiking trails range from shorter trails under a mile long to all-day event trails that range between four and twelve miles in length. The park also has a small restaurant located inside, historic houses on the property, and provides incredible views for the more adventurous hikers. For those looking for fun recreational activities, the park also provides things like get-togethers for model airplane enthusiasts and softball players. With the mid-summer high being about 86 degrees, venturing out on clear afternoons can be worth the extra time in the sun.
Staten Island has a few hills to be aware of, some of them located within La Tourette Park itself. The hiking trails within the area may prove to be challenging for those with accessibility issues or with a milder skill level. Good shoes and proper navigation is necessary for these trails in order to avoid getting lost, and bringing along water is always recommended while exploring the pathways within. Luckily, this park is large enough to nearly separate you entirely from busy city traffic and should be easy to venture into without having to worry about oncoming cars. La Tourette also closes at 7PM on most nights, so walking through the park at night is not a concern either. Despite the few inclines here and there, the park presents a great environment to walk for anyone looking for greener pastures and should certainly be explored on your next visit to Staten Island.
With La Tourette itself being the largest greenway available, there are still other, smaller areas worth exploring if you’re looking for multiple natural areas to visit. To the east is High Rock Park, easily accessible once you cross two main roads. To the south, in the midst of a few suburban neighborhoods are King Fisher and Siedenburg Park. These parks are much smaller, but still present a great opportunity to find some open space for you and your dog to get some exercise. The area around La Tourette also has a handful of small cemeteries with gentle walking paths for quiet, calm outings, though be aware of the rules regarding dogs if you plan on taking a visit. They may not all allow for furry visitors. With La Tourette providing a fabulous environment for nature lovers, you may find yourself fully satisfied with everything it has to offer.